Initially, Janie was portrayed as obedient and submissive yet over time she developed into an independent woman who defies the stereotype of females in her time period. Throughout Janie’s younger years, she fits the common mold for gender roles of the time period through passive and overly dependent behavior. This behavior is mostly seen during her relationships with Logan and Joe Starks. “In the few days to live before she went to Logan Killicks [...] yes, she should love Logan after they were married. She could see no way for it to come about, but Nanny and the old folks had said it, so it must be so” (21). Through the use of morose diction in the opening statement of “in the few days left to live”, the reader can infer that the marriage …show more content…
When Janie and Tea Cake move to the muck, she is first seen as a snobby wife who just sits around the house. “It was generally assumed that she thought herself too good to work like the rest of the women and that Tea Cake ‘pomped her up tuh dat’. But all day long the romping and playing they carried on behind the boss’s back made her popular right away” (133). An important step in Janie’s transformation involves her willingness to work in the fields along with the men. The symbolism of this action is that a gender barrier is broken and Janie shows a truly independent side of her. The significance of this symbol for equality is that Janie defies the common assumption that women do not work. Hurston instead depicts Janie as a strong woman who takes part in the perceived ‘man’s labor’ as a representation for how women should act. In spite of the fact that Janie was originally not a strong woman and made choices that negatively affected her life, she grows into a woman who is able to self-actualize and strongly take pride in her choices. “Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon, like a great fish net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see” (193). Hurston utilizes simile
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He sees her as nothing but a possession and expects her to work hard on his farm. Janie is unhappy in this marriage, and it signals the beginning of her journey towards independence as she realizes
- Zora Neale Hurston, born January 7th, 1891, was an African-American author, widely known for her classic novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Being raised in Eatonville, Florida, the first black township of the United States, Hurston was indulged in black culture at a very early age. Zora was described to have a fiery, yet bubbly spirit, befriending very influential people, one being American poet, Langston Hughes. With heavy influence from her hometown, along with the achievement of the black women around her, an abundance of motivation came when Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God. The novel promotes black power, all while rejecting the stereotypes held against women.
This quote highlights the contrast between Janie's character and the expectations of women during the Harlem Renaissance period. Logan wants a wife that would do the so-called “men's work” without complaint such as work in the field and the farm.
Logan owns “sixty acres uh land right on de big road” (23), and Jody believes that “It takes money tuh feed pretty women” (37); whereas Tea Cake, who is not wealthy at all, but takes really good care of Janie and respects Janie’s femininity. While Jody was constantly “unconscious of (Janie’s) thoughts” (43), Tea Cake often “wanted her to get her rest” (107) in the mornings instead of getting up early to make breakfast for him. Janie’s young vulnerable heart was let down many times but her heart of finding the one and experiencing real love always stayed with her, and “she was saving up feelings for some man he had never seen” (72). When Janie decided to be with Tea Cake, Janie experienced a “a new sensation” (108) of “passive happiness” (107): “Tea Cake and Janie gone hunting” (110), fishing, dancing… everything that she had not experienced before with Logan and Jody, who are more hidebound rather than fun. Tea Cake respected and admired Janie as a woman instead of a tool that is enslaved by man, and Tea Cake helped Janie to “crawl out from (her soul’s) hiding place” (128) and experience the part of a life that she had never been exposed to before; Every time Janie looks at Tea Cake and what he had done for her, she would feel a “self-crushing love”
In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Hurston, Janie’s story reflects the beliefs of the Harlem Renaissance by showing the theme of pride, and disappointment. In the Harlem Renaissance one of the main themes of the African American’s art was pride, and to fight on gaining progress even though thee African Americans were an oppressed race in America. After Janie's kiss grandma had this to say, “Yeah, Janie, youse got yo’ womanhood on yuh.” This is an example of how grandma wants Janie to grow up and become a respectable black woman with pride. Also, this novel shows the theme of disappointment.
Janie Crawford Killiks Starks Woods is the main character in the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, where she learns what's it's like to go from marriage to marriage looking for love. In the novel, Hurston utilizes the pivotal moment when Janie realizes that marriage doesn’t always mean love to show Janie's coming of age and psychological development which is used to show that love doesn't always come first. Logan Killicks was Janie's first marriage, which was brought about after Nanny (her grandmother) decided that she need to be married after she caught Janie and a young boy kissing when she was 16. After that Janie finds herself being thrown into some random marriage with some man she barely knew, and for a reason
Thus it is still possible to see Tea Cake as having a degree of control over Janie until the moment of his death. In each of her relationships, we watch Janie lose parts of herself under the forces of male domination. The men are not the only characters who see the traditional take on gender relations, where the men are dominant, and the women are obedient, as necessary and
but it didn’t do her any good” as Jody kept on fighting for her “submission” (71). As Jody continues to make Janie submit, less of her individuality is present as she is reduced to the ideal wife in Jody’s eyes. He does this by covering her hair, confining her to the store, and insults her. Again, In one scene,
She questions why Janie would marry a dark man like Tea Cake. Mrs. Turner falsely assumes, like the rest of the people form the town, that Janie only married Tea Cake for his money because she could not possibly love him. Janie informs Mrs. Turner that her assumption is incorrect because Tea Cake was not wealthy when they met, and he is the only person that has made her truly
She expected to obey for her husband like others. “He ordered Janie to tie up her hair around the store” reveals that she did everything to his happiness not for her. Even though she is a wife of a mayor, she didn’t get any privilege rather she lost her social relationship with other people. She lived under the dominance of her husband
During Janie's first marriage, she outwardly conforms to the societal view of marriage, and the domestic wife, while inwardly questioning if she can learn to disregard her true
Hurston tells the story of Janie, a black woman who because of her grandmother experiences and beliefs was forced to marry into a loveless marriage with Logan Killicks, a hard-working farmer who had 60 acres of land and could provide for Janie. This marriage ended when Janie ran away with Joe Stark, a man that she fell in love with and thought could give her the love absent between her and Logan. But Janie soon realized that her second marriage wouldn’t turn out better than her first. Joe was just as controlling and degrading as Logan. He hardly expressed his love for Janie and spoke to her like an incompetent child.
Janie is the symbol of feminism and independence for women in the novel and shows her heroism in many instances. Some of her heroic qualities include determination, empathy, and
Women are confined to single roles and are expected to be submissive and respectful. When Joe married Janie, he forced her into a role of subservience. Hurston indicates that Joe attempted to mold Janie into what white women do on a daily basis which is to “sit on their high stools on the porches of their house and relax.” Doing this, Joe believes he is granting his wife all the wishes she ever wanted while neglecting the fact that Janie takes pleasure in the simple things in life like chatting, laughing, fishing and dancing. “Janie [especially] loved the conversation[s]” that took place on the porch and sometimes “she thought up good stories on the mule, but Joe had forbidden her to indulge” because he didn’t want her to talk after those “trashy people” (Page 104).